Parents and guardians have the habit of giving rewards and praise to children for their good deeds; however this may cause more harm than good to the child (Grille, 2010). The modern way i.e. rewarding and giving praise has replaced the earlier method of punishment for bad deeds to instill discipline and people see as use of rewards and praise as a simpler way to mould the child. They really forget that not everything that glitters is gold; outwardly praise looks impressive and very effective but there are inside elements that need to be reconsidered. To modify the behavior of a child goes beyond rewards, it involves moulding the child's character and values to safeguard a future that is bright (Grille, 2010). The question is why they don't focus on good parenting rather than showering praise to their children.
Firstly, rewards never improve the behavior and performance of the child; this is opposite to what people think. In the long run rewards and praise do not give the chance for the child to develop self esteem and a sense of independence or autonomy (Strain & Joseph, 2001). They always rely on the praise to do the required things in life. The behavior that one tends to strengthen is eroded in the long run; this is in view of the fact that the children expect praise and if it lacks at any instance they feel unappreciated. The question is should they be appreciated for doing their obligations right? In this regard, their perseverance is dampened which renders praise and rewards as ineffective (Kohn, 1999).
In addition, praise can be responsible for restraining the creativity and quality in what they do. This is possible when the children just want to do just enough to earn the praise. In doing just enough is not as good as doing their best to prove to the parents or guardians of their self esteemed achievements (Grille, 2010). They will generally avoid challenges and to put it clear they play it safe. This is not the best way to raise a child, is it?
The children also have misplaced priorities when praise is emphasized. Picture a scenario where the child needs to perform well to earn a present or praise; they are doing it for the praise and not their future (Grille, 2010). In case they just get what they want they can loose their focus. It is therefore best to show them the focus rather than focusing their attention on praise, because if the praise is not as they expect they will have no passion and interest to go on thus ruining their future since they are committed in seeking praise (Porter, 2001).
Praise also causes negative impacts in the relationship between them and the parents or guardians. For instance, when the children are conditioned to praise; they focus on this so as to impress rather than knowing it is for their own benefit. The child is therefore not self motivated to accomplish their own wishes rather than do it for the goodies (Grille, 2010). More importantly is that if they overly on the goodies they can loose themselves and get addicted to them rather than doing what is right.
Certain praise statements may be very pleasing to hear, but they carry a lot of deep meaning when analyzed. For example, "You're getting better!", "I know you've got it in you!" and many others can be interpreted as very positive and in the long run create negativity. The child may see as if he is being told to improve which will make them feel unappreciated and not to have achieved anything (Newman, & Newman, 2008).
The parents and guardians acts as the judge to the child in that they will choose what to praise and what to condemn. The children in this situation feel scared, evaluated and judged. Such children will develop a negative attitude towards the parents. On the other hand, to the child the parent has the obligation to praise him or her and if the praise doesn't come then a conflict is likely to erupt. They will see as if they are being punished for their good work hence develops a negative attitude.
To the children, this culture grows in them till they reach adulthood. One may ask, where does corruption and bribery come from? This is the culture created by parents and guardians who accustom their children to praise and rewards after doing their duties right (Newman, & Newman, 2008). Even in adulthood they will required to be bribed to do right or get something to manipulate situations. This kills honesty, trust, transparency and accountability and this is instilled in the society. Is this the right way to go? Certainly not
In the class or school system praise and rewards will be a factor of contention in that they will make the children feel insecure when other are praised more than them. In addition they will be jealous and envious (Grille, 2010). This will awaken unhealthy competition, in view of the fact that they will not cooperate or help each other so that only themselves are praised.
In conclusion, children need to be equipped and trained to face the future with a lot of enthusiasm and self esteem but based on the above facts praise can do more harm than good. It is certain that a child needs to be appreciated and acknowledged but not praised. Praise will be very manipulative while all the children needs is a positive feedback which will help the child try to self evaluate and discover more about themselves.
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